Asia Minute: New Zealand’s Teacher Shortage

Nov 22, 2018

Credit Wokandapix / Pixabay

Recruiting and retaining public school teachers remains a challenge in Hawaiʻi. But for another location in the Asia Pacific, a recruitment drive is turning some other issues.


New Zealand is looking for a few good teachers. Actually, the country’s Education Ministry is looking for hundreds of them.

It’s been advertising in various locations in English-speaking countries, and it’s gotten more than 3,000 responses. The Ministry says more than 500 have been cleared by its qualification process, and more than 100 have already been hired.

But Radio New Zealand says there is some skepticism about those qualifications.

It quotes one principal who says the teacher resumes he’s seeing from overseas are not impressive — adding “if people have worked in six different schools in the last five years, that’s probably not a good indication that they’re going to be successful in the classroom.”

The broadcaster also spoke with the president of the New Zealand Principal’s Federation, who said many schools are “in a crisis situation” because of a teacher shortage.

Going to school (Christ's College, Canterbury). Christchurch. New Zealand, 2006
Credit Jorge Royan / Wikimedia Commons

The Education Ministry is trying another strategy to meet that shortage and make sure that teachers will fit the needs of New Zealand schools. The Ministry is targeting teachers trained in New Zealand — offering bonuses and an overseas relocation grant.

A recent report from the global federation of teacher unions reports the teacher shortage is a global issue.

Education International says that shortage is especially acute for high school teachers.